The reason we still have the death penalty

CNN Stepfather accused of drowning girl, 3, for insurance

SEATTLE, Washington (AP) — The firefighters who tried to save 3-year-old Ashley McLellan, unconscious after being pulled from a pool on a winter night in 2003, noticed something strange about her stepfather: He was calm, mostly dry and never once asked them if she would live. She didn’t, and Joel Zellmer was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of killing her in an attempt to collect on a $200,000 insurance policy — just one accusation in a string of accidents that investigators say Zellmer concocted to befall the young children of the women he dated. Investigators say Zellmer has a history of dating single mothers, urging them to take out insurance policies and harming their children, including burning the hands of one and giving another a hot cup that blistered her lips.
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